India skipper Virat Kohli paid an emotional tribute to MS Dhoni after the talismanic captain announced his retirement from international cricket.
Kohli extolled the towering influence of Dhoni on Indian cricket, who led his country to T20, World Cup and Champions Trophy triumphs.
Dhoni's glittering record in white-ball cricket lands him a spot amongst the greatest ever captains in the sport as his calming persona allowed India to prevail in many pressure situations.
"Words fall short a lot of times in life and I think this is one of those moments," Kohli said in a video uploaded on the Board of Control for Cricket in India website.
"All I can say is that you will always be that guy who sat in the last seat of the bus. Not saying much but your presence, your aura saying a lot."
Kohli, who made his debut under Dhoni's leadership, hailed the wicketkeeper's mentorship in the twilight years of his career.
Dhoni had relinquished limited-overs captaincy duties in 2017, paving the way for Kohli to become permanently in charge of the side. Since then, Dhoni has frequently been seen dispensing his wisdom to Kohli and quipping in with useful advice behind the stumps.
"We have shared a great camaraderie, friendship, understanding and that has happened because we have always played for the same roles, same goals, which was to make the team win," Kohli said.
"It's been a pleasure playing alongside you and playing under you initially in my career. You showed belief in me, which I would always be grateful for."
"I have said it before, I will say it again, you will always be my captain," he concluded.
Incumbent India coach Ravi Shastri echoed Kohli's words and recounted Dhoni's astounding feats as captain of the Indian team.
"As a leader and captain he can sit on Mount Everest with those kind of achievements," Shastri said.
"Multiple world cups, Champions Trophy, number one Test team in the world, IPL titles, Champions League. You name it and he has got it."